APPLICATION PROCESS

How to become an ATIO member.

PATH TO CERTIFICATION

Becoming a certified ATIO member involves several stages:

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Step 1 - Applicant

First you must submit an application for membership. At this point you are considered an Applicant while your supporting documentation is vetted and, in the case of translators, an Entrance Exam is taken.

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Step 2 - Candidate

After passing the entrance criteria, you are an ATIO Member and Candidate for Certification. As a Candidate, you have five years to pass the Certification Exam or On Dossier process. As a Candidate for Certification you may also participate in ATIO’s events, workshops and training opportunities.

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Step 3 - Certified

Once you have passed the Certification Exam (or On Dossier equivalent) you are then considered a Certified Member.

APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP

Who Can Join ATIO?

In order to join ATIO, an applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the admission criteria for the various professional categories outlined below. This includes already possessing a combination of professional and educational experience in translation, interpretation or terminology.

Applicants are not required to be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, making it easier for those from outside of Canada to apply for and obtain certification. However, please note that all exams are written in-person in either Toronto or Ottawa.

ADMISSION CRITERIA Print All

ATIO supports translators, interpreters and terminologists. Some of these professions have several categories. Please consult the admission criteria of your professional category below.

To apply in translation, you must either:

Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in translation (in which case you are exempt from writing the Entrance Exam) or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in translation evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS);

OR

Hold a Canadian or WES-evaluated (or ICAS-evaluated) BA, MA or PhD in any domain, plus the equivalent of two years (i.e. approximately 100,000 words per year or at least 30 hours per week) of translation experience in each language combination for which you are applying;

OR

Have the equivalent of four years (i.e. approximately 100,000 words per year or at least 30 hours per week) of translation experience in each language combination for which you are applying;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in translation in good standing of a member association of CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

Your translation experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to write the Translation Entrance Exam. You must pass this Entrance Exam to join the Association.

To apply in conference interpreting, you must either:

 Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in conference interpreting or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in conference interpreting evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), or have successfully completed a Canadian or WES-evaluated (or ICAS-evaluated) postgraduate program in conference interpreting;

OR

Substantiate 100 days of experience as a conference interpreter, at least 50 days in each active language [A, B] for which you are applying and at least 30 days from each passive language [C] for which you are applying;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in conference interpreting in good standing of a member association of the CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

Your conference interpreting experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

To apply in court interpreting, you must either:

Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in court interpreting or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in court interpreting evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), or have successfully completed a Canadian or WES-Evaluated (or ICAS-evaluated) post-secondary course in court interpreting;

OR

Be accredited as a court interpreter by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a court interpreter;

OR

Substantiate 600 hours of experience as a court interpreter in Canada;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in court interpreting in good standing of a member association of the CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

Your court interpreting experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

To apply in community interpreting, you must:

Demonstrate the achievement on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of a level of fluency of at least 7 or the equivalent, or level C1 on the Test de connaissance du français (TCF) or the equivalent;

AND EITHER

Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in community interpreting or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in community interpreting evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), or have successfully completed a post-secondary Canadian or WES-evaluated (or ICAS-evaluated) program in community interpreting;

OR

Be accredited as a community interpreter by a Canadian certifying body for community interpreters and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a community interpreter;

OR

Substantiate 600 hours of experience as a community interpreter in Canada;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in community interpreting in good standing of a member association of the CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

 Your community interpreting experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

To apply in medical interpreting, you must:

 Demonstrate the achievement on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of a level of fluency of at least 7 or the equivalent, or level C1 on the Test de connaissance du français (TCF) or the equivalent;

AND EITHER

Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in medical interpreting or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in community interpreting evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), or have successfully completed a post-secondary Canadian or WES-evaluated (or ICAS-evaluated) program in community interpreting;

OR

Be accredited as a medical interpreter by a Canadian certifying body for community interpreters and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a community interpreter;

OR

Substantiate 600 hours of experience as a medical interpreter in Canada;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in medical interpreting in good standing of a member association of the CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

 Your medical interpreting experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

To apply in terminology, you must either:

 Hold a Canadian BA, MA or PhD in terminology or in translation with a specialization in terminology, or a foreign BA, MA or PhD in terminology or in translation with a specialization in terminology evaluated by World Education Services or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;

OR

Submit proof of two years of experience as a terminologist;

OR

Be a candidate for certification in terminology in good standing of a member association of CTTIC (in which case you must provide an official letter attesting that you are indeed a member in good standing with your association).

Your experience in terminology must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by at least one reference letter from an employer or client.

To apply as a student, you must:

Submit an official letter of enrollment from a Canadian post-secondary institution stating that you are registered in a degree program in translation, terminology, conference interpreting, court interpreting, or community interpreting. This letter should include verification of full-time or part-time status, year level, and the name and length of your program.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION FORM

Click below to open the on-line fillable ATIO Membership Application Form

Please print, sign and date your ATIO Membership Application Form before submitting your complete application package to ATIO.  There is a non-refundable fee of $75.00 (tax included) for each application.

Remember to send us all of the required documentation in your application package, such as:

  • the signed and dated ATIO Membership Application Form;
  • proof of your professional experience for each language combination;
  • reference letter(s) substantiating your professional relevant experience;
  • a copy of each of your relevant post secondary degree(s); and
  • your curriculum vitae.

Please note that non required admission documents will not be consulted, conserved or returned to the applicant. These documents will be destroyed according to our administrative procedures.

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Application FAQs

How do I prove my experience?

Your professional experience must be from within the last five years and must be attested to by a reference letter from an employer or client. Reference letters must indicate the language combination(s) that you worked in and the timeline that you worked. Please know that reference letters must be written in either English or French. Reference letters written in any other language will need to be translated into English or French by an ATIO-Certified Translator. In the case of translation, ATIO requires an average of 100,000 words/year translated in each language combination. Please note that, for example, French to English is one language combination and English to French is another. To measure experience in the other professional categories, please see their respective admission criteria.

What should my letters of reference include?

A letter of reference attests to your experience. It should be written by an employer or a client, someone who is familiar with your work. These letters should be written on the company letterhead, signed and dated by the referee and include his or her contact details. Reference letters must indicate the language combination(s) that you worked in and the timeline that you worked. Please know that reference letters must be written in either English or French. Reference letters written in any other language will need to be translated into English or French by an ATIO-Certified Translator.

How do you measure years of experience?

In the case of translation, ATIO requires an average of 100,000 words/year translated in each language combination. Please note that, for example, French to English is one language combination and English to French is another. To measure experience in the other professional categories, please see their respective admission criteria.

What degrees do you recognize?

ATIO recognizes Canadian university degrees and foreign university degrees evaluated by World Education Services or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) that are relevant to the category for which the applicant is applying.

My degree is from abroad, is a credential assessment by World Education Services (WES) mandatory?

Yes. All foreign academic credentials included in your application must be evaluated by WES or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS).

Why can’t you tell me NOW if my application will be accepted? I want to be sure that it will be accepted before sending my documents.

The assessment of application is a careful and thorough process. The Association has to make sure that applicants in the different language categories fulfill all requirements. This is in line with the Association’s purpose of promoting a high level of competence and protecting the public.

What is the entrance exam and why should I write it? I am a professional already.

The Entrance Exam is an assessment of an approved applicant in translation’s language and translation skills to test if he or she is qualified to sit the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council Translation Certification Exam. The Entrance Exam does not make an applicant certified. It is a two hour long, in-person, handwritten translation exam where approved applicants in translation are required to translate a short general text in the language combination(s) they applied for. The Entrance Exam is held multiple times a year in both Ottawa and Toronto. The exam dates are posted on the News and Events page on the ATIO website. The Entrance Exam costs $220.00 (tax included) per language combination.

Can I appeal a decision regarding the Entrance Exam?

No. All Entrance Exam results are final. Applicants who do not receive a passing mark of at least 70% must wait one (1) year to reapply to ATIO and rewrite the Entrance Exam.

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